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All the King's Men is a 1949 drama film based on the Robert Penn Warren novel of the same name. It was directed by Robert Rossen and starred Broderick Crawford in the role of Willie Stark.


All The King's Men is the story of the rise of politician Willie Stark from a rural county seat to the governor's mansion. Along the way, he loses his innocence, and becomes just as corrupt as the politicians he once fought against. The main story is a thinly disguised version of the rise and assassination of real-life 1930s Louisiana Governor, Huey Long. Also included is the romance between one of his "right hand women" and the up-and-coming journalist who brings Stark to prominence.



Rossen originally offered the starring role to John Wayne, who found the proposed film script unpatriotic and indignantly refused the part. Crawford, who eventually took the role, won the 1949 Academy Award for Best Actor, beating out Wayne, who had been nominated for his role in Sands of Iwo Jima.

The film was shot at various locations, out in California, using local residents, something that was fairly unknown for Hollywood at the time.


Academy Awards – 1949

All the King's Men was the 36th film to get more than six Academy Awards nominations.1931 Cimarron (7)
1935 The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (8) and Mutiny on the Bounty (8)
1936 Anthony Adverse (7), Dodsworth (7), The Great Ziegfeld (7) and The Life of Emile Zola (10)
1937 A Star Is Born (7)
1938 You Can't Take It With You (7)
1939 Gone with the Wind (13), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (11), Stagecoach (7) and Wuthering Heights (8)
1940 The Grapes of Wrath and Rebecca (10)
1941 Citizen Kane (9), Here Comes Mr. Jordan (7), How Green Was My Valley (10) and Sergeant York (11)
1942 Mrs. Miniver (12), The Pride of the Yankees (11) and Yankee Doodle Dandy (8)
1943 Casablanca (8), For Whom the Bell Tolls (9) and The Song of Bernadette (12)
1944 Going My Way (10), Since You Went Away (9) and Wilson (10)
1945 The Bells of St. Mary's (8), The Lost Weekend (7)
1946 The Best Years of Our Lives (8) and The Yearling (7)
1947 Gentleman's Agreement (8)
1948 Hamlet (7), Joan of Arc (8), Johnny Belinda (12)

It was the Winner of 3 Academy Awards.
Award Result Winner
Best Motion Picture Robert Rossen Productions–Columbia (Robert Rossen, Producer)
Best Director Robert Rossen

Winner was Joseph L. Mankiewicz - A Letter to Three Wives
Best Actor Broderick Crawford
Best Writing, Screenplay Robert Rossen

Winner was Joseph L. Mankiewicz - A Letter to Three Wives
Best Supporting Actor John Ireland

Winner was Dean Jagger - Twelve O'Clock High
Best Supporting Actress Mercedes McCambridge
Best Film Editing Robert Parrish and Al Clark

Winner was Harry W. Gerstad - Champion

In 2001 the United States Library of Congressmarker deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. To date, it is the last Best Picture winner to be based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.


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